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Château de Brézé has a long and storied history, first being mentioned in texts in 1068, lauded by King René of Anjou in the 15th century and served at all the royal courts. In 1957, when the AOC of Saumur Champigny was established, the owner of Château de Brézé refused to be part of the appellation, saying that his estate's vineyards were the best and deserved an appellation all their own. And he was probably right. Unfortunately, the wines from those exceptional vineyards were terrible. Lucky for us, the winery sold in 2009 to Le Comte de Colbert, who recruited Arnaud Lambert from nearby Domaine de Saint Just to make the wine. He changed the vineyards over to organic farming and began producing truly stellar wines worthy of their source. The 2012 Château de Brézé Clos David is all estate-grown Chenin Blanc raised in stainless steel to preserve freshness. It has the slightly-oxidized note of a great White Burgundy and a lovely richness that allows it to pair with a variety of foods.

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Tuesday
Jan242006

Bordeaux Bargains!

Lets start the month with one delicious white from the classic 2004 vintage and three outstanding reds from the near perfect 2000 vintage in Bordeaux. 2004 Thieuley Blanc, Bordeaux ($10.99) This property has been turning out high quality white and red wines that sell for prices much lower than you would expect. This is a blend of 60% sauvignon blanc and 40% semillon with a round, soft middle showing grapefruit, shy melon and apple. The finish is fresh and citrusy, with a touch of Meyer lemon and a fine dusting of mineral. An amazing bargain! 2000 Thieuley Rouge, Bordeaux ($16.99) This property also crafted our best selling wine from the legendary 2000 Bordeaux vintage. From the aromas of black currants and cigar box to the ripe merlot fruit, this is a satisfying glass of wine. Lush and ample with flashy tobacco and coffee nuances. 2000 Poujeaux, Moulis ($29.99) Probably the most consistent value-priced château we carry. The 50% cabernet sauvignon in the blend shows here with aromatic herbs adding complexity to the sweet black currants. This is supple, round and earthy with a long, rich, tobacco-laced finish that invites another taste. 40% merlot rounds out the mid palate and makes this traditionally crafted beauty a wine that can age but also drinks perfectly now. 2000 Phelan-Segur, St-Estèphe ($26.99) This K&L favorite seems to fly under the radar vintage after vintage, yet always produces some of the best values in Bordeaux. Here is a big wine with ample structure and an intriguing meaty quality that contrasts nicely with the bright dark berry fruit. Although big and chewy in the beginning, the spicy, mineral-laced finish is elegant, silky and long. This will age well but can be decanted and enjoyed now. —Steve Bearden

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